While Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Riciardo battle for the presumed-open seat at Red Bull in 2014, the energy drink maker’s head boss, Dietrich Mateschitz, says that perhaps Kimi Raikkonen could be a candidate.
“Kimi is cool and fast and always a candidate,” Mateschitz told Germany’s Speedweek publication.
No surprise that Red Bull’s junior team (driver development), Scuderia Toro Rosso, isn’t the only possible harvesting ground for talent. While it successfully brought the team it’s current champion, Sebastian Vettel, it also has gone through several driver iterations with no success having ousted Sebastien Bourdais, Jamie Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Scott Speed and more. Having a seat at Toro Rosso is no guarantee you’ll get a seat at Red Bull.
In recent days, Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne has made rumblings about the fight, internally, at the team for the seat of Mark Webber. Most presume this will be Mark’s final year at Red Bull and given the consternation and event in Malaysia, he may be growing weary of being Vettel’s support system instead of his own championship contender. Mateschitz is careful to quell that notion:
“Whether he retires, only he will choose but Mark is definitely a candidate for 2014,” Mateschitz added.
“He is always welcome with us, so too would be a quick junior like [Jean-Eric] Vergne or [Daniel] Ricciardo from the Toro Rosso team. Sorry, I know it
It’s an interesting plot and if you consider the resurgence of Kimi Raikkonen at his current team, Lotus F1, it does make sense why Red Bull might be interested. Then again, his dismal years at McLaren and even the premature retirement from Ferrari after the team paid him to go away leaves some folks a tad skeptical as to if Kimi is truly a great option at any team… perhaps it has to be a team like Lotus in order for the Finnish driver to shine.